Crisis club Worcester agree deal with undisclosed buyer

·2-min read

Worcester co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have agreed terms with an undisclosed buyer for the financially stricken club.

The terms of the agreement are still being scrutinised by the respective legal teams and as of Tuesday afternoon it had yet to be signed, the Warriors have confirmed.

Worcester have debts of more than £25million, including £6million in unpaid tax, and face administration if they are unable to find a new buyer.

A 45-14 defeat at London Irish on Saturday opened their season on the pitch but a troubled build-up plunged the club into a desperate battle for survival.

Players and staff have still not been fully paid for August amid grave concerns over September’s payroll, but the news that an agreement is now in the hands of lawyers indicates an end to the crisis is in sight.

Efforts are being made to ensure Worcester’s first home match of the season goes ahead as scheduled with the new buyer providing financial support.

Worcester opened their season with a heavy defeat at London Irish
Worcester opened their season with a heavy defeat at London Irish (Steven Paston/PA)

“We have been working closely with the interested party on the immediate deposit of significant funds which will allow Sunday’s Premiership match against Exeter at Sixways and Saturday’s Allianz Cup tie between University of Worcester Warriors and Harlequins to go ahead as scheduled,” a statement read.

“We will provide a further update both on the sale of the club and this weekend’s matches on Wednesday.”

Doubts had emerged over Worcester’s ability to stage their Sixways opener on Saturday and even when revealing in the aftermath of the rout by Irish that negotiations were taking place with a new buyer, director of rugby Steve Diamond cautioned over the possibility of another “false dawn”.

It was critical to the Warriors’ survival for them to take the field against the Exiles and now another crucial step is being taken to prevent them going out of business and the Premiership being reduced to 13 sides.

Any deal will have to be ratified by the Rugby Football Union, however, amid calls for a more stringent fit and proper persons test to be introduced.